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Image by Jacek Dylag

Our 1st Advocacy Awards was a Huge Success! 

Thank you all for your support!

The additional awareness and funds raised will help us increase our support toward Inclusive Catholic Education & Meaningful Employment for children and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities in the Diocese of Arlington.

Evening Highlights

Check out a Catholic Herald article about the event here.

The evening began with a Mass celebrated by Bishop M. Burbidge, that set the tone for the rest of the evening. Bishop Burbidge gave a beautiful homily, which you can read here.

2023 Award Recipients

Porto Charities Inclusion Catalyst Award Recipients

Porto Charities Advocacy Award Recipients

Special Thanks

Event Co-Chairs:

Jerry and Pamela Pelano


Steering Committee

Leo Alonso

Carmen Chiappetta

Larry Rzepka

Lupita Williamson

Auction Chair

Kim Perry

Communications Chair

Stew McHie

Nominations Chair

Kathryn Doherty

Volunteer Chair

Christine Fowler

Board of Directors

Leo Alonso, President

Bill Dalgetty, Vice President

John Reidt, Treasurer

Bill Mundy, Secretary

Art Bennett

Patrick Cross

Sheila Earhardt

Christine Fowler

Paul Frommelt

Dave Hoppe

Stew McHie

Fr. Rich Miserendino

Jerry Pelano

Laura Saracina

Tony Stafford


Special thanks to Bishop Michael F. Burbidge, for his continuous support of Porto Charities' Mission and his commitment to Inclusive Catholic Education and Meaningful Employment for All in our Diocese.

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Special thanks to Bishop O' Connell High School for graciously agreeing to host our 1st Annual Advocacy Awards.

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Special thanks to Brickwall Printing & Graphics for providing our programs for the event. 

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Special thanks to Matt Leiva, CEO of ML Real Estate Group for sponsoring our Employment Spotlight video.

Special thanks as well to Mariano Escobal from NORTE Consulting for his services in producing the video.


Special thanks to the Catholic Diocese of Arlington and the Bishop's Office for their time and support of this event.

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Special thanks to Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington, for their valuable assistance during the planning of this event.

A heartfelt thanks to all the young adult volunteers and their peer mentors for all their help throughout the evening. 

Thanks to our Sponsors


Mr. and Mrs. Paul Frommelt


Leo & Betty Alonso

Richard and Jacqueline Boak Charitable Fund

William & Marilynn Dalgetty

Sheila and Jeff Erhardt

David & Katherine Hamilton

Greg Sanchez & Maria McMahon Bishop O’Connell High School

Charlie and Sally Sullivan



Basilica School of St. Mary

Bishop Ireton High School

Holy Spirit Catholic School

Our Lady of Good Counsel

St. John Paul the Great High School

Victor & Karla Nasr

St. Paul VI High School

Jerry & Pam Pelano

Tony Stafford / Ford's Fish Shack


Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington

Dennis and Tina Chiappetta

Ann DiPlacido

Maite Doherty

Daniel Drummond

Espina Paving, Inc.

Christine and Mark Fowler

Dave & Karen Hoppe

Stacy LaRosa

Jay Kim and Kay Lee

Tia Marcili & Mary Miossi

Bill Mundy

Potomac Concrete Co.

John Reidt

Special Needs Trust -

The Arc of Northern Virginia

Carlos & Elsa Velez


Vivian Alonso

Canto Speech Therapy

Dolce Vita

Dominion Jewelers

Larry Rzepka

Andrew Shulman

The Wharf

Total Wine & More

Witness to Dignity


Art & Laraine Bennet

Debbie Bennett

Raymond & Laura Bennet

Piper Bley with Split Endz Salon

Jean Bordner / Bean Bites

Vincent & Carmen Chiappetta

Ginny & William Colwell

Cynthia Heil Corzine & Mark Corzine

Andrew & Patty Cripe

McCabe's Printing Group

Mary Desmarais

Maite & Kevin Dougerty

Beth Elliot

Earp's Ordinary

Jonathan Holtaway


Maura Locke

Jack & Sally Masri

Lilly Metcalfe / LillyBird Baking

Marissa Moore / Thirty-One Bags

OrangeTheory Fairfax Circle

Ornery Beer Company Public House

Greg Oliver

Jackie Pearce / The Wine House

Blanca Ramirez / Bread by Blanca

Marika Schoolar

Tony & Sue Simon

Donna Vostal

Tim & Lupita Williamson

Janet & Mike Witter

For more information about our 1st Advocacy Awards, please contact us at:

We hope to see you at the 2nd Porto Charities Advocacy Awards in 2024!

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